Abu Dhabi Executive Council sets Dh50 billion stimulus package in motion

New plans to transform business and boost growth in the emirate put into motion just 24 hours after they were announced

FILE - In this May 15, 2017, file photo, Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, smiles during a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington. Emails obtained by The Associated Press between business partners Elliott Broidy and George Nader indicate that the pair was working with bin Zayed in a lobbying effort to alter U.S. policy in the Middle East. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
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Within 24 hours of announcing a Dh50 billion stimulus package for Abu Dhabi, the Executive Council's Executive Committee met to set in motion the 10 initiatives at the heart of a three-year plan.

Officials were given 90 days to create a detailed execution plan for the package, which was announced yesterday  by Crown Prince and Chairman of the Executive Council Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, and seeks to transform the ease of doing business, create jobs and boost growth.

In accordance with Sheikh Mohammed's directives, the Abu Dhabi Development Programme 21/19 will be set up to include detailed plans for the initiatives and ensure these are completed within the next three years under the supervision of the Executive Committee.

As part of the new initiatives, an Employment Opportunities Committee will be established to oversee the creation of 10,000 jobs for citizens in the private and government sectors over five years. It will be headed up by Maryam Eid Al Muhairi, Chief Executive Officer of the Media Zone Authority, and Amer Hussain Al Hammadi, Acting Director General of the Human Resources Authority, and will build relationships with government and private entities and identify potential employment programmes in a variety of sectors.


The 10-step stimulus plan


Within the coming weeks, or in the third quarter of the year, the committee will abolish the requirement for a two-year office or work space licence, permitting instead permanent home licences and public and private partnerships. Additionally, they well be issuing dual licenses for free zone companies in Abu Dhabi, allowing them to work outside the free zones and to compete for government tenders.

Also in the third quarter, contracts will also be agreed to develop community infrastructure and facilities in Khalifa City, Mohammed Bin Zayed City, Shakhbut City and Zayed City.

During the fourth quarter of this year, the Executive Committee will re-examine building regulations for infrastructure and residential, commercial and industrial sectors, and look into the developmental requirements for communities in other Abu Dhabi residential areas, as well as in Al Ain.

The Executive Committee will also oversee, along with the Department of Finance, the creation of a committee that will follow up on the payment of dues and the re-examination of all of the outstanding fees owed in the health, education and municipal affairs sectors. It will resolves payment disputes and examine late fines.


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The special committee will have a permanent office at the Abu Dhabi Investment Office to receive questions, grievances and complaints.

It was requested at the meeting that all government bodies pay any outstanding dues within one week from now.

Lastly, the Abu Dhabi Accelerated Development Programme has been tasked with producing quarterly reports to review the progress of the new projects.

The Executive Council was previously given a deadline of early September to draw up a detailed execution plan, with initiatives that will cover infrastructure and legislative projects, small and medium size enterprises (SMEs), and industrial and social projects.

Earlier this week, Abu Dhabi also announced housing plans that will help the country to reach 70 per cent private residence ownership among nationals by 2020, which would make it number one in the world for home ownership among citizens.

The plans announced on Monday aim to double the number of housing loans and reduce waiting times for property.

A comprehensive platform for volunteering and social innovations called Maan – meaning together in Arabic – as well as a new government department dedicated to community development was also announced this week.